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Great news on ORI building

5/2/2011: Two press releases announce what seems to be an excellent resolution of the ORI / Riverfront Research situation. ORI will get a building south of the millrace Millrace Drive, in the area already under development. No further development in the RRP will happen without a plan and a public process.

Lots of people in Eugene stop things from getting built. Think Whole Foods, PeaceHealth, etc. Paul Cziko and his gang got something better built. I’m impressed.

If UO had been open and transparent about this from the start, ORI’s building would be under construction now. Instead they opted for secrecy, and that decision came back and bit them and ORI and the developer in the butt. We will probably never know who made that decision. It certainly cost UO thousands of times the $202.34 UO’s public records officer Liz Denecke tried to charge Connecting Eugene for public records on the matter!

Congratulations to the Connecting Eugene people for their work on this and for what looks like a very productive ending. I confess I thought they had their facts wrong on the planning process, and that if they fought this ORI would move to Springfield like every other Eugene employer. I was wrong on both counts.

From UO:

“The decision to postpone development of another new building within the research park allows us to re-examine the best location for the ORI/EPIC building,” Lariviere said. “By exploring the feasibility of the 1700 Millrace Drive site, I am confident that we will arrive at the best possible outcome for everyone involved,” he said. …

“Beyond this project, the university will launch a master planning process to help address future facilities needs for UO’s expanding role in catalyzing innovation and its ties to economic development,” Linton added.

And from the Connecting Eugene people:

Connecting Eugene commends University of Oregon President Richard Lariviere on his decision to explore an alternative location for a proposed private office building and parking lot slated to be built along the Willamette River in Eugene. 

The University of Oregon announced today (attached below) that the President has recommended an examination of an alternative location for the proposed Oregon Research Institute (ORI) building. The building is currently slated to be constructed under a 1989 Master Plan at the western end of the University’s riverfront open space, just upstream from the Eugene Water and Electric Board (EWEB) property. The plan, if completed, would transform the University’s 67-acre riverfront open space into a private office complex.

Members of Connecting Eugene, a community group concerned about public involvement and the appropriate use of the riverfront, believe that the President’s recommendation may be the first step towards a win-win solution to the problems with the proposed project. 

UO Graduate student and Connecting Eugene member Paul Cziko is encouraged by the news: “I’m cautiously optimistic, yet delighted that President Lariviere is responding to the concerns of students, faculty, and community members who want to see the ORI project built while protecting the riverfront from inappropriate development”.


  1. JB 05/03/2011

    Small quibble: The 1700 Millrace Dr site is still north of the Millrace; it’s south of Millrace Dr though, which puts it further from the River and more connected to transit and parking (not to mention the utility infrastructure should be massively cheaper). Huge win for CE, and I was skeptical of the environmental rhetoric being used to “preserve” what is essentially a busted slab of concrete overgrown with grass. The master plan will get interesting, I imagine.

  2. Anonymous 05/03/2011

    U. Nebraska voted out of the AAU.

    Is UO next?

  3. Anonymous 06/30/2011

    The RG coverage about the new proposed site mentions a project that is not being covered in the media (a very short line about it). There is a lab that was supposed to go in where ORI is now looking for a site along the millrace. The legislature gave the project permission to bond 19.75 million in 2006. Where did the mystery lab go ? I believe it was a nano-lab. I have heard the a instructor named Marc Schlossberg had a class assignment where he had students design it. Anybody know about the lab I mean ?

  4. Anonymous 06/30/2011

    Dog on nano-lab building.

    I believe this is equivalent to the Lokey
    Basement that has been in place for 3 years now.

  5. Anonymous 07/01/2011

    The Lokey Labs are under a mound of dirt, so that may be the reason you have not located it. I doubt Marc Schlossberg’s class had a hand in designing it. He teaches planning, not architecture.

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